Tags: obama | guns | mental | health

Obama to Tighten Mental Health Restrictions on Gun Ownership

Friday, 03 Jan 2014 01:44 PM

 

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The Obama administration announced steps today aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, while President Barack Obama again urged Congress to pass broader gun control legislation.

The Department of Justice is proposing to change rules for the federal background check system to clarify who under U.S. law is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of mental health problems.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a regulation aimed at making it easier for states to submit information about the mentally ill to the federal system, without blocking all people who seek mental health treatment from owning guns.

“The administration is committed to making sure that anyone who may pose a danger to themselves or others does not have access to a gun,” according to the White House statement. “The federal background check system is the most effective way to assure that such individuals are not able to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer.”

Unable to win passage of gun-control legislation following the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December 2012, Obama announced last year that he would begin using executive authority to tighten firearms regulation.

The moves included action in August to ban the re- importation of military weapons sold abroad and to change a rule to close a loophole in current laws that let felons evade background checks and buy machine guns.

Public Support

National support for gun-control measures slipped to 49 percent in a CNN poll conducted Nov. 18-20, the lowest since 1996. Last January, a month after the Newtown shootings, 55 percent said they supported stricter gun laws.

Both sides in the gun-control debate saw victories in 2013, with 28 states passing laws lifting firearms restrictions and 21 plus the District of Columbia expanding them. New York, which had tight gun laws, made them stronger while Alabama, with looser regulations, made access easier. Seven states passed laws permitting guns in elementary schools.

The White House statement renewed Obama’s call for legislation to expand background checks for firearms ownership and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

Urgent: Do You Approve Or Disapprove of President Obama's Job Performance? Vote Now in Urgent Poll

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